is a villain
created by Walt Disney
for the Mickey Mouse
comic strips. Shyster is an evil criminal mastermind who generally teams up with Peg-Leg Pete
. The character has been described by some as a weasel
or a rat
(the latter being Gottfredson's own interpretation), but his ears suggest that he is rather an anthropomorphic canine
. His name in italian
translations is Lupo
, meaning Wolf
, even though he is clearly not one.
He first appeared in the comic strip adventure "Mickey Mouse in Death Valley", the first real Mickey Mouse continuity, which was partially written by Walt Disney and drawn by Win Smith and other artists, before being taken over by Floyd Gottfredson (plot and art). In this story, Sylvester Shyster was a crooked lawyer who attempted, with the help of his henchman Pete, to deprive Minnie Mouse of her inheritance.
Shyster and Pete have been causing trouble for Mickey and his friends since then. Shyster is generally depicted as the duo's brain, with Pete acting as the brawn. He is probably the only person Pete will listen to without rebellion. Shyster acted as an independent criminal, with no further references being made in Gottfredson stories to his profession as a lawyer, other than his name (he had possibly been disbarred due to his arrest and imprisonment at the end of "Mickey Mouse in Death Valley"). Later creators occasionally referenced Shyster's origins as a lawyer, with one story ("Trial and Error," 2007) forcing him to defend Mickey himself in an overseas courtroom.
Shyster disappeared for a time after 1934, but made comebacks in 1942, 1950, and again in various 1960s Italian-created stories. More recently, publisher Egmont Creative A/S (in Denmark) revived Shyster as a regular character, a capacity in which he continues today.
It should be noted that in "Race to the South Seas" (March of Comics #41, 1949), a Donald Duck story by Carl Barks, a variant of Shyster appeared as Scrooge McDuck's lawyer, but his appearance differed from that in the Mickey Mouse strip and he was not an evil villain in that story.
Sylvester Shyster's United States Appearances
- "Mickey Mouse in Death Valley" (April 1, 1930 to September 20, 1930 in the MM dailies; Reprinted in an edited form in Mickey Mouse Best Comics), written by Walt Disney and Floyd Gottfredson, illustrated by Win Smith, Floyd Gottfredson, and probably Jack King or Hardie Gramatky
- "The Great Orphanage Robbery" (January 11, 1932 to May 14, 1932 in the MM dailies), written and illustrated by Floyd Gottfredson
- "Mickey Mouse Sails for Treasure Island" (May 16, 1932 to November 11, 1932 in the MM dailies), written and illustrated by Floyd Gottfredson
- "The Mail Pilot" (February 27, 1933 to June 10, 1933 in the MM dailies; Reprinted in Mickey Mouse in Color and Walt Disney's Comics and Stories #610-612), written by Ted Osborne after Floyd Gottfredson's plot, illustrated by Floyd Gottfredson
- "The Sacred Jewel" (October 15, 1934 to December 29, 1934 in the MM dailies; Reprinted in an edited form in Mickey Mouse Best Comics), written by Ted Osborne after Floyd Gottfredson's plot, illustrated by Floyd Gottfredson
- "The Mystery at Hidden River" (October 6, 1941 to January 17, 1942 in the MM dailies; was redrawn by Bill Wright for Walt Disney's Comics and Stories #112-116), written by Merril de Maris after Floyd Gottfredson's plot, illustrated by Floyd Gottfredson
- "The Thunderbolt Machine" (Mickey Mouse #34), illustrated by Tony Strobl
- "The Past Imperfect!" (Walt Disney's Comics #632), written by David Gerstein, illustrated by César Ferioli
- "Pirates of the Vacuum" (Gemstone's Donald Duck Adventures #7), written by Andreas Pihl, illustrated by Joaquín Cañizares Sanchez
- "Mickey for Mayor" (Walt Disney's Comics #653), written by Don Markstein, illustrated by Noel Van Horn
- "History Re-Petes Itself" (Walt Disney's Comics #654), written by David Gerstein, illustrated by Romano Scarpa
- "Vacation Brake" (Walt Disney's Comics #662), written by Dave Rawson, illustrated by César Ferioli
- "Flip Mickey" (Mickey Mouse #291), written by Stefan Petrucha, illustrated by Noel Van Horn
- "Trial and Error" (Vacation Parade #4), written by Don Markstein, illustrated by Fabrizio Petrossi